Marysville City Council honored Marysville Deputy Police Chief Tony Brooks and Sergeant Terry Basinger Monday night for completing the Ohio Law Enforcement Foundation’s Certified Law Enforcement Executive program. From left are Brooks, Basinger, Marysville Mayor J.R. Rausch and Police Chief Floyd Golden.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Will Channell)
The City of Marysville is considering buying the Union County YMCA, but a couple city council members will need to be convinced first.
Chuck Dyas, chair of the Union County YMCA Board of Trustees, spoke to council Monday about the possible purchase of the facility for $3.8 million.
“We’d like to express to you our interest in partnering with the City of Marysville in a collaboration with the YMCA,” Dyas said.
Marysville citizens will also have the chance to come to the YMCA March 19 from 5-7 p.m. for an open house to learn about the facility and provide feedback.
The deal before Marysville council would have the city buy the YMCA real estate and lease it back to the YMCA organization to operate the facility.
Dyas said the YMCA has been a “great resource” to Marysville. He said the facility has been growing the past few years.
The first two months of this year has seen the most memberships since 2016, according to Dyas. Despite previous statements otherwise by city officials, Dyas said the YMCA is in good financial condition.
The proceeds from the sale would allow the YMCA to carry out various capital improvements, such as parking lot repairs, exterior lighting and roofing.
“It would allow us to use the proceeds from that sale to invest back into the facility,” Dyas said. “All funds would also stay here in Marysville.”
Dyas also said that the YMCA would pay for any additional repairs and maintenance going forward, so there wouldn’t be any additional cost to the city after the initial purchase.
Dyas told council that the YMCA is one of the first things people see when they get off U.S. 33. Improving the building would help that first impression.
“This is the front door of this community,” Dyas said.
City Manager Terry Emery said the open house will dive deeper into what specific improvements the city would make, how the city would finance the purchase and the benefit to the resident.
That benefit could include a 10 percent membership discount for Marysville residents.
Dyas said the open house will hopefully reduce any fears residents might have.
“We can address their concerns,” Dyas said. “They could see what it is that we’re offering this community.”
According to Dyas, there would be three city staff members sitting on the facility’s board of trustees and committees. Dyas also said members of committees don’t have to be on the board, allowing additional representation from the city.
Emery said as the city works with the YMCA, the city could consider the possibility of having facility staff help run city recreational programs.
Councilperson Deborah Groat said she isn’t convinced the purchase is a good idea.
“I’m extremely negative personally about this,” Groat said.
She said she isn’t comfortable paying $3.8 million for a facility that could be better run privately. She said she’s open to any opposing opinions in the coming weeks.
“Convince me that I’m wrong,” Groat said.
Councilperson Nevin Taylor asked how many board members there are in total. Dyas said there are 13 voting members on the board, though the YMCA bylaws allow for 25.
Taylor noted that three city representatives would account for less than 20 percent of the voting body. Emery said officials recommended three members because they wanted the city to have its finance director, events and recreation coordinator and a facilities expert on the board.
Emery reiterated that other city officials could be on the subcommittees. He also said those officials on the board or committees could include council members.
“I feel comfortable with that, because as owners of the building, we will be able to make sure we have a lot of say in how the facility operates,” Emery said.
Councilperson Alan Seymour said he likes the idea of the purchase, but would first like specifics on how officials arrived at a ten percent membership discount. He said he’d like to know how many more members would be needed to offset that discount.
“Is ten percent really the best number? Should it be 12? Should it be eight?” Seymour asked.
In other council news:
-Council held the first reading of legislation that would allocate money to pay for crime and emergency notification service Nixle. Deputy Police Chief Tony Brooks said late last year, the formerly free service announced it would begin charging.
The cost to the city is about $6,400 for the service.
-Marysville Police Deputy Chief Tony Brooks and Sergeant Terry Basinger were honored for completing the Ohio Law Enforcement Foundation Certified Law Enforcement Executive (CLEE) program.
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